I’ve been a tiny bit naughty. I’ve been on my online health record reading the results of the two x-rays I had of my left knee a few days ago. It’s not that I don’t have access to them, I do, but normally people would – and I should add; should – wait to get any result from e.g. their GP or refering doctor. But, I was curious and as a trained medical secretary, I still know my way around medical Danish, latin diagnoses etc etc. So online I went.
I’ve been having problems with my legs and walking distance since early 2012, I’ve used a cane since Aug. 2015 and my walking distance is really low because of my ME. Walking even short distances causes a lot of e.g. pain and exhaustion. So it was really a major blow I hurt my knee in early April. It was entirely my own fault, I walked down two flight of stairs after going to a cinema I normally don’t go to. I couldn’t find the elevator and there were noone to ask, so I took the stairs. Halfway down, my knee snapped. Major bummer!
I was sure it was a minor strain and I treated it with an icebag etc etc. The usual. And then a lot of rest… And me being stubborn.
But, as you might have guessed, my stupid knee didn’t get any better. It caused me major problems on my holiday in June, it still causes me major problems getting down the flight of stairs from my flat and causes me even more problems with my walking problems… And even worse… I injured it again 4-5 weeks ago, when my mum fainted in my bathroom because she was ill (don’t worry, she’s fine now).
When the new injury happened, I already had an appointment with my GP after his holiday, so I treated my knee with icebag and rest again and the pain from the new injury slowly subsided. Still, my knee kept causing me pain and problems.
The appointment was actually made in order to talk to him about getting help with my walking problems and low functional level because of me ME, but my mum – and other’s – insisted I stopped being so damn stubborn and got that knee checked instead, and I finally came to my senses and agreed. You don’t get anything for being a stubborn arse.
Wednesday I went to see my GP and he suspected bursitis and refered me to physiotherapy with ultrasound and then he refered me for x-ray at my local hospital.
It hurt like hell. Getting the x-rays done, I mean. Not the x-ray itself, but when you have a knee that hurts and you barely can bend and stretch it … Plus you are overweight and have stupid legs because of chronic illness, then it’s really painful to stand in awkward positions. But I managed… Barely… And I felt absolutely embarassed afterwards because of my size, my health, my stupid legs etc etc. My inner Spoonie wanted to scream at the radiographer that this is painful, but I clenched my teeth and somehow managed. It only took a few minutes, but damn… It was painful.
Now after reading the results of the x-rays, I totally understand why I’m in so much pain. Osteoarthritis!
I must admit, I’m not suprised. Hell, I actually suspected it myself. I’m not stupid, I’ve been overweight and obese for many years, I know how much that impact on your joints, bones and muscles. But still, I’m absolutely devastated, because this adds another diagnosis to the list and a new problem to the equation that is my complex life with chronic illnesses.
First, how on earth am I going to solve this problem? (For the record, I’m not asking, I’m merely thinking out loud). Exercise is a problem because of my ME, weightloss is a problem because of my ME and my complex sleeping problems. Medication is a problem, because the ‘normal’ treatment is NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and I can’t take them because of my stomach (in short, it means I have to take PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors) that also give me bad side effects). Hopefully my GP still thinks NSAID’s are a bad idea, because I really don’t want to take them.
I know it’s not up to me on my own to solve this problem, but I need to take all things in to the equation because of my ME. My guess is, my GP will still refer me to physiotherapy with ultrasound, and strongly urge me to lose some weight. I’m not sure how I’m going to solve the latter. Hopefully he will take me seriously, when I suggest we make a full medical assessment. This knee problem is just a part of the big picture of all my problems, but none of us know how the big picture actually looks.
I’ve got an appointment with my GP Thursday, till then I will try and do a bit of research. I know all too well, that doctors absolutely hate patients that check the internet and have a bunch of solutions to their problems, but I have to be super careful because of my ME. I can’t ‘afford’ to trigger another major setback at this point. I’m still struggling with the one I had earlier this year. Hopefully my GP will understand that, otherwise I have to take the fight and argument with him.
This knee problem is a new diagnosis to the already long list of diagnoses I already have. Now I have to be careful the treatment of my knee doesn’t cause even more diagnoses being added to the list. The 12-15 I already have are more than enough, thank you very much!